As you get started building your crowdfunding campaign, there are a few tips and best practices to keep in mind:
1. Your total campaign goal should be calculated based on the campaign's potential reach.
When you run a crowdfunding campaign, the hope is that you will be able to get your close friends and family to donate as well as more distant acquaintances or perhaps even total strangers. You should be prepared to ask your closest friends and family to help you reach the first 33% of your goal.
The average contribution made to a crowdfunding campaign is $75. Let’s say I need to raise $10,000. That means I need to have around 133 people make an average donation of $75. (10,000 ➗ 75 = 133.33)
A study by Network for Good found that one in four individuals asked to donate actually made a contribution as part of a concerted fundraising campaign.
This means that you need to ask 4 times the number of people that you want to make a donation.
So, if I’m trying to raise $10,000 and I need around 133 people to make an average donation size of $75, then I need to ask a little more than 530 people to contribute).
Note: Determine your campaign goal carefully because the goal amount cannot be adjusted once the campaign is launched. While pledged funds will still be made available for your project even if you don't meet your goal, you want to be sure to set up a realistic goal for the time limit you have set for the campaign.
2. Create a video appeal that puts a human face to your campaign.
Video links from Vimeo or YouTube can be embedded directly in your Fundraising by Fractured Atlas campaign. A video appeal with a human face making a direct appeal for a donation is a great way to successfully engage your audience. A video can also enhance your appeal by addressing the donor directly, using plenty of second-person statements (like "your donation will help us..." and "you can help by...") to engage your donors and make them feel a part of the work.
Shorter videos are more likely to actually be watched, so you should also limit your video appeal to 3 minutes or less.
3. Your pitch provides a clear and succinct executive summary of your project, as well as a breakdown of expenses showing how funds raised will be used.
You hopefully have a LOT of things to say about the art that you're creating. Not all of it should be included in your written campaign pitch as a stream-of-consciousness monologue. Identify the key points that you want to make and distill your writing down to the ideas that support those key points. Including a breakdown of expenses in this text will demonstrate a commitment to transparency in your fundraising, and also lets donors know how their donations will be used to help your project.
A successful pitch also introduces your donors to your team members. You can include brief bios of the major players, demonstrating that your crew is qualified for the job at hand.
The campaign pitch should take no more than five minutes to read.
4. Include a variety of rewards or perks that appeal to more than one type of donor.
You're likely going to be reaching out to several different demographics as you run your crowdfunding campaign. The reward levels should be crafted with an eye toward the varied interests and means of your potential donors. Be sure to also include reward levels that offer different ways of saying "thank you" which produce no overhead costs for your project.
If you're offering any rewards in the form of goods and services in exchange for donations, these donations are considered partially-deductible. The "Fair Market Value" listed for each reward should reflect the total value of all goods and/or services received in exchange for the donor's contribution at that reward level.
If the reward you're offering is just a thank you or has no value in the real world, you can list the "Fair Market Value" for that reward as $0. In that case, the donor's gift will be fully tax-deductible.
5. Before you launch, you should have an action plan of specific steps that you will take over the lifespan of the campaign.
You will want to direct donors to your campaign every day that the campaign is live. Your campaign action plan includes steps you will take each day the campaign is live, including adding new rewards, providing updates, and sending thank you's along the way.
Be sure you draft your marketing materials (social media updates, email blasts, etc.) before your campaign launches, so you won't waste anytime before announcing your campaign. Be sure to include a link directly to the campaign in all your messaging. Your messaging should also be specific to your donors, and you should plan time to send personalized messages to individuals to encourage them to give.